Walk carefully if you are lifting weights or doing strength training for the first time

It’s been over a month since Tanya Goenka started a fitness routine. “I had an active childhood – swimming, dancing, karate and taekwondo,” says the 18-year-old from Hyderabad. The rigors of high school forced a slowdown, and the onset of the pandemic in 2020 halted many of its activities. Being confined to home and glued to online classes for hours has resulted in a change in eating habits; lethargy sets in.

With the school behind her and eager to travel to the United States for college in the fall of 2021, she hopes to prioritize health and fitness. She signed up for personal training with fitness trainer Saikrupa Kanth, who works with Telugu actors and film directors: I could barely hold a plank for 10 seconds, now I can climb up to a minute ” , explains Tanya. She has started lifting light weights and is determined to continue her diet in the United States, through online classes.

Summer 2020 was all about getting to grips with doing everything online. Gyms were banned during the lockdown, and fitness enthusiasts turned to online classes. Those who were already on a diet set up small home gyms with exercise mats, dumbbells, kettlebells, and resistance bands.

Bodybuilding / weight training at home

  • Nisha Varma, Exercise Physiologist at American College of Sports Medicine and Master Trainer at Reebok, recommends: “Gym / Medicine Balls (2-5kg), TheraBand, and Loop are great additions for you. ensure a complete workout. A TheraBand can be anchored to the balcony railings for back exercises. Resistance running using buckles is also ideal for home use.
  • Weightlifting does not make women bulky. Women have the ability to lift heavy weights but do not increase lean muscle mass at the same rate as men because women do not produce a lot of testosterone.
  • Cardio isn’t the only way to lose weight. Strength training will help you lose more fat. During strength training, muscles undergo a process of breaking down and rebuilding over the next 24 to 48 hours. This requires more calories and energy and is called the “afterburning effect”. It also means that your metabolism is working at a faster rate even when you are at rest after a workout.

How to start

A face-to-face class with a trainer is still the best way to learn the basics, says Saikrupa.

With the second wave of COVID-19 showing signs of slowing down and a few states easing lockdown restrictions, it is possible to get one-on-one workouts in person outdoors.

In cities that are still under full lockdown, personalized online courses are the next best bet. Mumbai-based trainer Leena Mogre suggests, “A one-on-one lesson can help beginners correct their form, before signing up for group lessons, which can make it difficult for trainers to notice and correct small problems. .

While learning the basics, she suggests watching recorded videos several times and working out without weights, to begin with. If you can practice in front of a mirror, even better.

A well-thought-out warm-up precedes a workout, and a trainer can help tailor the warm-up to suit a particular day’s workout routine.

Start slowly and work your way up. Take into account adequate rest and recovery. “A muscle takes 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild itself, and reworking it too early can lead to tissue breakdown,” says Saikrupa.

Trainers warn beginners against bodyweight training – push-ups or squats – without guidance.

Dr Madhu Thottapillil, orthopedic surgeon and founder of the Chennai-based National Sports Medicine Center, agrees. Over the past year he has treated patients who have injured themselves while trying to workout at home: “Many are in their 30s to 40s, who previously would take brisk walks around the neighborhood and started exercising at home. weight training during lockdown. ”

Choose online workouts

There is no shortage of fitness channels on the internet and focusing on what works best for your body can be overwhelming. Dr Thottapillil says, “Look for trainers who have been doing this for years. Browse a few videos, read the reviews to see if it has benefited those who have tried the diets. Start with routines designed especially for beginners. For those who have never done weight training or weight training before, start with resistance band exercises to minimize the risk of injury. Progress very slowly, whether in terms of reps or taking small weights. “

Why lift weights?

Weightlifting can seem daunting at first. Navigate the basics – stability, mobility, flexibility and core strengthening – and it turns into an enjoyable practice. Those who are consistent in their training gain strength, reduce body fat, and minimize instances of back pain, along with better moods and increased confidence levels.

“Muscle mass can start to decrease in your thirties. Starting a strength training program can help you maintain and even build this strength as you age, ”says Saikrupa.

Leena suggests a synergy between aerobic workouts and strength training to get the best results. “Perform a weightless exercise for a few reps to see if you’re doing it right, then incorporate small weights – 2-5 kilograms. Trying to lift heavier weights before setting your form can lead to injury,” she warns, adding: “Gyms have equipment that facilitates better alignment. This is not possible by training at home with free weights. So be careful.”

Madhulatha Agarwal, a 60-year-old housewife, explains from experience why women should lift weights: “My son and daughter-in-law encouraged me to start exercising. Previously, I practiced yoga and did brisk walks. I started to integrate weight training over three years ago, building it slowly. Now I can do deadlifts up to 50 kilograms and 25 to 30 kilograms on dumbbells. I feel stronger and healthier. Don’t do it to impress anyone. We have to do it for ourselves, for our health.